In a 2017 event, ad legend Dave Trott said, ‘The problem with advertising is that every year in the UK, £20.3 billion is spent on all forms of advertising. Of that, 4% is remembered positively, 7% is remembered negatively and 89% of ads are not remembered at all’. A 2016 article said, ‘only 9% of digital ads are viewed for more than a second’. The industry is coping with even more media clutter, digital ad fraud, platform and ‘content’ proliferation. In this context, an ad being noticed by an actual human being is a big achievement for the creators of an ad. As many have said before if an ad does not pass the first test of noticeability, everything else – consumer research, a great strategy document and any sort of analysis is only academic. Here are a few creative ads which caught my eye this week:
Aldi Australia: precedented prices
Ever since the world has been on lockdown-mode as a reaction to the current pandemic, there’s been an overdose of the phrase ‘unprecedented times’. We hear it on TV news, business magazines, webinars and ‘thought leadership’ articles. ALDI, the supermarket chain, takes dig at this development linking it to their low prices in a spot which evokes a smile. During these unprecedented times (here we go again), it pays to be different from other brands who are largely contributing to a sea of sameness with sombre, ‘we are with you’ commercials laced with visuals of empty streets, despondent people or of actual footage from video calls.
Agency: BMF Australia
Daunt Books: literary classics
An independent book shop chain in the UK, Daunt Books has launched a radio campaign featuring extracts from classic books which have oblique references to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The two spots include extracts from a 1947 novel ‘The Plague’ by Albert Camus and Daniel Defoe’s 1722 novel ‘A Journal of the Plague Year’. Listening to the snippets makes one reflect on the fact that the world has seen similar if not worse situations and books have vividly described such. In a roundabout way, it reminds us of the power of the written word.
Agency: AMV BBDO
Burger King: social distancing
Despite the connotations of being unhealthy, fast food outlets do evoke a sense of craving and are associated with ‘good times’ with family & friends. No wonder they are popular. In media, their portrayal revolves around fun, togetherness and reward. Burger King has consistently created campaigns which are product-centric and have great entertainment value. These have helped their ads go viral and add to the brand affinity. Even during the current pandemic where eating out is ruled out in most countries they have created work which has created buzz. In Italy, they have created this tongue-in-cheek poster which ‘promotes’ social distancing.
Agency: Wunderman Thompson
In France, they continue to take a dig at competition without naming them by reminding people to keep away from neighbours who have a ‘red nose’.
On Twitter, their legendary CMO shared this prop from Germany.
Agency: Grabarz & Partner, Hamburg, Germany
Such activities help keep the brand visible with the right cues, creating familiarity and affinity – traits which are critical for brands during times of uncertainty for consumers.
EPOS: Bad Audio is Bad Business
‘What is the most expensive word in business today?’ is a provocative question asked in the beginning of this ad. Turns out it wasn’t a question but a statement. In an intriguing spot, EPOS which delivers high-end audio solutions designed for enterprise and gaming, aims to convey that bad audio is bad for business as it impacts productivity. An extremely well-written and edited ad – a compelling watch even if it was over 2 minutes.
Agency: & Co./NOA København K, Denmark
Walmart: Hearts of Magic
A montage of visuals set to an interesting music or or hummable jingle is common in advertising. A new ad for Walmart follows this formula. It is also about showing solidarity and conveying a message of resilience and hope during the times of COVID-19, again a common theme. But what I found interesting was that the lyrics was originally written by an employee of Walmart – Terrell “Trizz” Myles, a Department Manager at Store 3751 in San Tan Valley, AZ. His talent has been embellished through a funky video and shared with the world. Imagine the positive effects on employee affinity towards the brand.
Kotak Mahindra Bank: Twitter video
Here’s another topical message from a brand urging consumers to practice social distancing and a conservative approach towards spending money, with emphasis on savings. I am hardly doing any justice to the wonderful lyrics in Hindi by renowned writer Swanand Kirkire and set to tune by Ram Sampath.
Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.